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Trustees Share Inspiring Stories and Experiences

Jim Norman

While on campus for the recent Board of Trustees meetings, two members—Board President Bob Steers ’71, P ’11 and Vice President John Donovan ’59 with his wife Dana—took the time to chat with our students.

As a guest speaker of the Canterbury Business Club, Bob not only spoke with students—he issued them a challenge. During an interactive Q&A before a packed house in the Steers Center Ragland Commons, Bob discussed everything from entrepreneurship strategies to real estate investments to the challenges of running the highly successful global company he co-founded, Cohen & Steers. He talked about the importance of strong leadership, citing Canterbury as an example. “We have donors who want to invest because they believe in the leadership here,” he said.

Bob also presented them with his “prediction game,” challenging students to submit their best guesses for estimated prices on December 31 of four specific investments: the Dow Jones Industrial Average index, 10-year treasury bonds, crude oil, and Bitcoin. Students with the four closest estimates will each have $250 donated to the charity of their choice.

The beauty of nature and the plight of endangered species were front-and-center when the Sustainability Club hosted John and Dana Donovan for “Wildlife Wanderings.” Students were captivated as the couple shared compelling photos and stories of their travels around the world. 

John and Dana told of their animal encounters in a number of exotic locales—endangered lemurs in Madagascar; polar bears on their migration route in Canada; grizzlies in Alaska’s Katmai National Park; rhinos in South Africa and India, many of whom are near extinction for their horns; jaguars hunting caiman in Brazil; and much more. Dana particularly enjoyed visiting Brazil, “one of the world’s best birding areas.”

Canterbury student Lynzie Sanford ’24 left hungry for more. “The presentation was amazing,” she said. “I hope they visit again soon with more adventure stories.”

Thank you, Bob, John, and Dana for inspiring our Saints!

VIEW BOB STEERS PHOTOS

VIEW JOHN & DANA DONOVAN PHOTOS